Monday, September 6, 2010

So Long,Pillsbury! {Menu Plan Monday}

By the time I finish this post it may become "Menu Plan Tuesday" as I'm busy trying to adjust to life with a crawler and no more morning nap (unless it's just the teething).

I will continue with Menu Plan Monday, because my family needs to eat, and it provides a motivation and accountability to sit down and plan out meals and make a grocery list accordingly. This prevents a ton of stress for the rest of the week. Otherwise, you would find me around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. with my usually by then tired baby (and all that that implies), scratching my head, looking into the fridge and pantry asking myself, "What in the world am I going to cook for dinner?" Then, hubby would come home to a frazzled frustrated wife and no hope of dinner anytime soon. He's so sweet that he would not complain or criticize, but I'd be frustrated and as we all know, that's not a fun state to be in.

Oh and about that grocery list made according to my menu plan...have I mentioned that my grocery list is SOOOO simple thanks to More With Less Cookbook? The simple list of things we get weekly or bi-weekly covers many many recipes in the book. At most I get one or two things a week that I buy with one specific recipe in mind, and usually can use it for a few other recipes too. The rest are staples that go in a variety of recipes...and did I mention that they're mostly low cost ingredients as well? Just Sayin'...

I believe I have mentioned that before More With Less, I could barely cook. That is not entirely true, but my list of recipes that I felt confident about was very short, ie maybe 4, and most of them, if not all, involved some pre-made food or another as a main ingredient.

One of the recipes that I loved and served to everyone who came over for dinner at some point (sorry friends if you had it twice...or..thrice...or...yikes!) is affectionately known to us as "Chicken Crescent Rolls" or to our Spanish or rather Spanglish speaking friends as "Bolitas de Chicken."

It was passed on from a family friend, and may have originally come from the back of some some Pillsbury product or another because the essential ingredient was Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

Do you know that it never occurred to me that I could make the dough myself? I remember thinking many times, "What would I do if we moved to another country? I wouldn't be able to get Pillsbury Crescent Rolls!" It's sad I know, but it's the truth.

Then one day, I was looking'll never guess....More With Less Cookbook, and I found a recipe that looked very similar to my beloved Chicken Crescent Rolls, except...wait a use biscuit dough? Don't tell me they're just basic biscuit dough! But, sure enough, that turns out to be the case and I realized that you don't need some fancy recipe or ingredients.

So, I finally got around to trying Chicken Not Crescent Rolls without buying refrigerated dough! And guess what? It was easy! I spent about 5 minutes making the dough and maybe 2 extra minutes rolling it out. I dirtied about 2 more dishes, and felt no worse for the wear.

Here are some way overly processed pictures of the experience. I got a little carried away with Picnik. (It's so much fun!) The food may be less processed but the pictures definitely are not!

Here's the ball of dough I prepared first and put in a bowl in the fridge while I got everything else ready.

While doing this I had some chicken boiling, and then chopped it up. I used about 4 breasts. I was going to save some aside to freeze in 1 cup portions for other recipes, but forgot. So we ended up with LOTS of chicken balls!

Then I mixed in half a bar of cream cheese, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a bunch of dried oregano and basil

Next I rolled out the dough and used a mug to cut circles. We don't have cookie cutters so I always use cups or bowls. They work great and offer a pretty good variety of size options! Yay for things you don't really need!!!

Then I grabbed a ball of the chicken mix and placed it in the middle of one of the discs of dough and wrapped it up. I found it actually easier to work with and stretch around the chicken than the refrigerated dough! In the background you can see the bowl of melted butter and the bowl of homemade italian breadcrumbs that I roll the ball in once it is formed.

Finally I ended up with two 9x9 baking dishes full of these yummy things.

With the store bought dough, you cook it for 25 minutes. I found that these needed a bit longer. I forgot to set the timer so I'm not sure how long. We just went based on the look. Next time I'll start with 30 min. and go from there.

So, Scratch Pillsbury Crescent Rolls off my list...FOREVER! Yay!

This week.....

Monday: Chick Fillet :)
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza
Wednesday: Pakistani Kima (pg. 131, More With Less) (We tried this last week...Y.U.M. and really quick!)
Thursday: Beirrocks (pg. 144, More With Less)
Friday: Lentil Barley Stew (pg. 107 More With Less)
Saturday: El Burgos (pg. 138 More With Less)


  1. The "Bolitas de Chicken" sounds really good and I think I'll have to try them. Did you try to freeze any of the extras? I'd be very curious to how they turned out. Thanks!

  2. Those look really good and the possibilities for the fillings are endless. I'm trying this!

  3. I have so added More with Less to my Christmas List! Awesome! And I have SO many recipes where I could use this!

  4. This looks sooo yummy!! I decided to give this recipe a try later this week! My husband agreed that it looked good and he wanted to try it too. I've never made anything like it before, not even dumplings which are similar, but I have always wanted to, so this is my new recipe for the week!

    Thanks! I cook almost every day and am always looking for new things to try!

  5. LOL—I had no idea. We really try to stay away fro processed, packaged stuff. However, my husband has a killer meatloaf recipe that calls for Pillsbury rolls to be sort of draped on top. We are definitely doing it your way next time!

  6. i REALLY need to start menu planning one of these days... i know it would make my suppers so much easier!

  7. I commented on So Long Pillsbury (#7)

  8. yumm i can just eat the picture lol

  9. I think I am going to try this tonight!


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